The 13th annual Realscreen Summit drew to a close in Washington DC today, with more than 1,500 delegates attending over the course of the week – an 18% increase in paid attendance on last year’s event.
Highlights from this year’s Summit included an opening day keynote from super-producer Mark Burnett; an exclusive one-on-one session with Lisa Erspamer, chief creative officer of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network; and an interactive Big Picture Town Hall event with Peter Liguori, COO of Discovery Communications, and Nancy Dubuc, president and general manager of History and Lifetime Networks.
“From the first few hundred delegates who attended in 1999, the Realscreen Summit has grown organically to become the absolute must-attend event for those of us working in the non-fiction community,” said Dubuc, who also serves as co-chair of the Realscreen Summit advisory board. “As the factual sector goes from strength to strength, I’m delighted to see attendance top 1,500 this year.”
Claire Macdonald, VP and publisher of realscreen, added: “I’m thrilled with our attendance figures and overwhelmed by the positive feedback that we’ve had regarding the networking and deal-making opportunities and conference program available this year.”
Among the increase in attendees this year were a significant number of agents, with representatives from CAA, WME and ICM mingling with commissioners, producers and distributors at the Washington Renaissance Hotel. ICM and CAA both held parties in DC to tie in with the Summit.
Michael Katz, AETN International’s VP of programming and production, was among those paying praise to this year’s Summit.
“The best thing about this event is that, in a good way, it doesn’t feel like 1,500 people,” said Katz. “I can still very easily see the people I want to see and the people who want to see me can find me. Realscreen [Summit] has managed to grow very well without compromising the accessibility between commissioners and producers.”
Later this year realscreen heads to Santa Monica for the Factual Entertainment Forum, which takes place at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel from June 1-2. Following that, the second annual Branded Entertainment Forum takes place in New York City this October.